Search Engines for the World Wide Web

Overview

Search engines are the keys that unlock the information treasure houses of the Internet. Unfortunately, most people have no idea how to tap their power. Like software applications, each search engine has its own unique features. People who know how to use these features are able to focus their searches more sharply and are more likely to find the information they want. Each search engine also has its strengths and weaknesses. It is important to select the right search engine for the job. Users can learn about ...
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Overview

Search engines are the keys that unlock the information treasure houses of the Internet. Unfortunately, most people have no idea how to tap their power. Like software applications, each search engine has its own unique features. People who know how to use these features are able to focus their searches more sharply and are more likely to find the information they want. Each search engine also has its strengths and weaknesses. It is important to select the right search engine for the job. Users can learn about relative strengths and weaknesses spending a great deal of time using each engine, or they can simply buy Search Engines for the World Wide Web, 2nd Edition: Visual QuickStart Guide for clear, step-by-step, up-to-date chapters on each of the most popular Web search engines: AltaVista, Excite, HotBot, InfoSeek, Lycos, WebCrawler, and Yahoo! It also shows the reader how to quickly find particular people or companies via other search tools such as Four11, BigBook, and Big Yellow. Shows everyone how to find the information they want on the Internet-quickly, easily, and without frustration.
  • Focuses on the very best search engines (AltaVista, Yahoo!, etc.), while briefly discussing lesser engines and resources.
  • Previous edition sold 15,000 copies in 8 months. Published in Peachpit Press's popular "Visual QuickStart Guide" format for fast, easy reference.
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Editorial Reviews

Michael Pastore
" With Glossbrenner's new book in hand you may lose respect for your Timex, but you'll gain speed, confidence and skills for searching the web and finding precisely what you need." --Best Books Bookshelf
Booknews
Explains how different search engines work, how to choose the right search terms, and how to refine searches using advanced search methods like wildcards and nesting. Specific instructions and tips are given for the major general purpose search engines. The third edition reflects changes in search engine providers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201353853
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press
  • Publication date: 11/3/1998
  • Series: Visual QuickStart Guide Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.99 (w) x 8.95 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The amount of information available on the Internet and the World Wide Web is vast and growing at a staggering rate. According to one widely publicized study (originally published in the journal Science on April 3, 1998), there may be as many as 320 million Web pages accessible via the Internet, and millions of new ones are added every month. So how does anyone find anything? That's the $64,000 question. If you're like us, the fascination of "browsing the Web"-clicking on links to go aimlessly hither and yon-wore off a long time ago. We want to sign on, get the information we need, sign off, and go about our business and our lives. Fortunately, excellent tools are available on the Net to help you do just that. They're called search engines and, not surprisingly, the best of them consistently rank among the most popular sites on the Net. But now we have a new problem and a whole new set of questions. With so many search engines out there (one popular Internet directory currently lists 156 and the number keeps growing), how do we find out what the really good ones are? Does it make any difference which one we choose? Will a search for, say, Year 2000 Problem or Ally McBeal episode guide produce the same results whether we use AltaVista or Excite or Yahoo? How to get the most out of this book This book will answer all of these questions and more. And like all the books in the Visual QuickStart series, it's designed to do so with a minimum of technical jargon and extraneous information. You'll find lots of step-by-step instructions and specific examples for using search engines in general, and the very best ones in particular. In writing the book, we've made just a few basic assumptions about you:
  • You understand the fundamentals of working with a computer, such as how to use a mouse and how to choose menu commands.
  • You have access to the Internet-either through an Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as Earthlink or Netcom or an online service like America Online (AOL) or Microsoft Network (MSN).
  • You have some experience using a Web browser program such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer to visit Web sites, and now you're ready to do more than just "surf the Net."

If you're not quite up to speed on one or more of these fronts, you may want to hold off on this book for the time being. Instead, check at your favorite bookstore or your local library for The Little Web Book: A Gentle Introduction to the World Wide Web and the Internet (also published by Peachpit Press). We wrote Little Web for people who are venturing onto the Internet for the very first time. Once you've read it and spent some time exploring Web sites on your own, the information presented in this book will make a lot more sense.

How this book is organized
The chapters in Search Engines for the World Wide Web are organized into three major parts, followed by four appendices. Here's what's covered in each one:
Part 1: Search Basics
Here we introduce you to the concept of search engines and how they work. You'll also learn about keywords-how to choose the right ones and the various methods of combining them for more effective searches. We round things out with some specific tips and techniques for using any search engine.
Part 2: Using the Leading
Search Engines
This part gets down to specifics with chapters on six of the most popular Web search engines. By the time you're finished, you'll know about their strengths and weaknesses and how to use the major features. Perhaps best of all, each chapter includes at least one Quick Reference guide that summarizes the key commands and search rules for each search engine.
Part 3: Using Specialized
Search Engines
This part presents some alternatives to the all-purpose "Swiss Army Knife" approach of the search engines covered in Part 2. Just as cooks and carpenters need special tools from time to time, so too do Web searchers. We'll introduce you to some of the best of these special tools and help you understand when to use them for faster, more efficient searches.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Part 1: Search Basics
Chapter 1: Search Engines and How They Work
The perils of Internet Searching
Search engines to the rescue
The Big Six search engines
Snap!, Start, Netcenter, and other portals
How search engines work
More information for Webmasters and others

Chapter 2: Unique Keywords
The challenge of full-text searching
Choosing the right keywords

Chapter 3: Basic Search Tools
Searching in plain English
Searching for multiple words and phrases
AND searches
OR searches
NOT searches
NEAR (or proximity) searches
Using parentheses and nested searches
Using wildcards
Dealing with stopwords

Chapter 4: Tips and Techniques
The seven habits of highly effective
Web searchers
Customizing your Web browser
Keyboard shortcuts and other time-savers

Part 2: Using the Leading Search Engines
Chapter 5: AltaVista
Using AltaVista's Basic Search form
Searching the Web with AltaVista
Searching Usenet newsgroups with AltaVista
Creating better Basic Search queries
Improving Web search results with field search
Searching fields in newsgroup messages
Refining an AltaVista search
Browsing the Web by topic
Using AltaVista's Advanced Search form
Searching the Web and newsgroups with Advanced Search
Customizing AltaVista

Chapter 6: Excite
Using Excite's main search page
Searching the Web with Excite
Creating better Excite queries
Zeroing in on the best Web sites
Searching for the best Web sites
Searching for current news with Excite
Using Excite to find travel information
Searching Usenet newsgroups with Excite
Customizing Excite

Chapter 7: HotBot
Using HotBot's main search form
Creating better HotBot queries
Refining HotBot searches
Browsing the Web by topic
Searching newsgroups and other databases
Customizing HotBot

Chapter 8: Infoseek
Using Infoseek's main search page
Searching the Web with Infoseek
Creating better Infoseek queries
Improving results with field search
Searching newsgroups with Infoseek
Searching for current news with Infoseek
Searching for companies and best of the Web
Customizing Infoseek

Chapter 9: Lycos
Using the main Lycos search page
Searching for the best Web sites
Searching newsgroups with Lycos
Searching for images and sounds
Advanced searching with Lycos Pro
Using other Lycos search tools
Customizing Lycos

Chapter 10: Yahoo
Using Yahoo's main search page
Searching with Yahoo
Using the Search Options page
Using Yahoo's Web directory
Customizing Yahoo

Part 3: Using Specialized Search Engines
Chapter 11:Deja News for Newsgroup Searches
Browsing newsgroups with Deja News
Searching newsgroups with Deja News

Chapter 12: Liszt: the Mailing List Directory
Using the Liszt directory

Chapter 13: Argus Clearinghouse
Subject Guides
Finding subject guides

Chapter 14: InfoSpace People-Finding Tools
Finding e-mail addresses
Finding phone numbers and addresses

Chapter 16: Zip Yellow Pages for Business Searches
Finding businesses with Zip

Chapter 17: Other Search Tools from A to Z
Amazon.com Books
CDnow
CNET's Shareware.com
Consumer World
CuisineNet Menus Online
Edmund's Automobile Buyer's Guides
Electric Library
Epicurious Food
FedEx Package Tracking
FindLaw Internet Legal Resources
HealthAtoZ
Internet Movie Database
MapQuest
Microsoft Product Support
New York Times Book Reviews
Online Career Center
Parent Soup
Peterson's Education and Career Center
Project Gutenberg
Tax Information: .com
Thomas Legislative Information
TV Guide Entertainment Network
UPS Package Tracking
Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition
ZDNet Software Library and Reviews
Zip Code Lookups

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